Winter Annuals

“Winter Annuals”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

It is that time of year when it is time for winter annuals to be planted in the Gulf South.  In the past, I have put in petunias, pansies, and snapdragons in the flower beds and violas in containers.  All of these are winter hardy here and last until May.

This year I don’t think I am going to put out as many of these winter annuals as before.  I am thinking more of placement for just spot color.  Today, I bought a flat of yellow violas to place in the circle garden.  This is the garden that is mostly yellow flowers.  I am trying the violas this year because I think they will do better than the pansies I planted last year there.  I was a little disappointed in the pansies I planted there last year because many of them died and the rest did not bloom very well.  Usually, every thing I plant there does extremely well in the winter.  I am hoping it was just bad plants and that this year the violas will do fine.

I chose violas this year because even though the flowers are smaller than the pansies’ flowers, they do have more blooms and spread more.  What I really wanted to get was the panolas which are a cross between a viola and a pansy.  They bloom profusely like violas, but the flowers are a little larger more like a small pansy.  Unfortunately, not many places seem to be selling them.

Whenever I plant pansies or violas, I always sprinkle some bloodmeal around the plants and then water it in.  I learned this from my dad who always did this and had gorgeous pansies.  These plants are heavy feeders, and the bloodmeal gets them off to a good start.

I haven’t decided what I am going to do in the rest of the garden, but I guess I need to decide soon (like this week).  I will at least put in some winter annuals in the entry garden.  I usually put in red and purple petunias there, but I saw some nice purple violas this morning, so I may put in them with the red petunias.  Decisions, decisions.


  1. Racquel said,

    October 26, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    Is your circle bed full sun or shade? I know pansies prefer more sun than violas so if it gets mostly shade they’ll do better there. The purple would look really nice with the red petunias. 🙂

  2. tina said,

    October 26, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    Those pansies look great. I still haven’t planted any. Sigh. Behind I know.

  3. Jan said,

    October 27, 2008 at 4:50 am

    Racquel, the bed gets several hours of morning sun and then dappled sun after that. Last year was the first time the winter annuals there did not do well. Red and purple are a surprisingly good combination. I have kept that color scheme for the entry garden the last two years.

    Tina, I think we are always behind. There seems so much to do this time of year. I guess that is what keeps us going.

  4. October 27, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    Wow…I’ve never seen yellow violas before…very, very pretty! 🙂

  5. Jan said,

    October 27, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    Thanks, Alexandra, they are such sweet flowers. I esp. like the yellow ones because they seem so cheery.

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